Now that Envestnet’s purchase of MoneyGuide is said and done, the financial planning software provider is eager to show off its recent accomplishments. Top of that list are recent enhancements to MyBlocks, its client-paced, individualized, financial planning components sometimes referred to as “stealth planning” by the company. Those improvements include a self-registration feature, integrations with Yodlee and “enhanced prospecting” with Redtail.
Advisors interested in using MyBlocks to attract prospective clients can send custom links via email and social media, or include the link of their website, which will direct potential leads to the first portion of the a la carte financial planning application. From there, clients can input their information, gradually building a financial plan, piece by piece.
Advisors benefit because clients will see the scope of the financial challenges they could be facing, explained Tony Leal, president of Envestnet MoneyGuide. “Clients don’t want to put in information and get nothing back,” he continued. “They get feedback on their case, on their data.”
“Obviously the advisor takes it to a new level and brings it all together,” he added. “These blocks are helping [prospective clients] comprehend their challenges.”
Advisors can choose between 21 blocks, including eight based on modules from Envestnet | Yodlee, to put on their site or provide for prospects. The eight based on Yodlee were built from the division’s preexisting FinApps, modules that support linking accounts, budgeting and other personal finance-type functions.
The account linking in particular is meant to eliminate a point of friction for advisors who previously had to request paper statements from prospects and clients before they could provide concrete planning and advice, according to the MyBlocks announcement. Given the tediousness of data entry, it’s little surprise this was a priority following Envestnet's acquisition of the planning firm and it is even using a limited-time offer of free aggregation via Yodlee as an incentive to bring new advisors to MyBlocks.
Envestnet MoneyGuide is also working to improve the usability of MyBlocks via CRM connectivity, said Leal. Redtail’s CRM is the latest system to get “enhanced prospecting,” in which self-registering users of MyBlocks have their information imported into the software, where prospect workflows and activities can be established. The Redtail improvement was completed even before a similar connectivity was made with Envestnet’s own Tamarac or ENV 2—a sign of how ubiquitous the CRM provider is in the independent RIA space, said Leal.
“One of our largest—if not our largest—CRMs that is used by independent RIAs, is Redtail. They’re the leading provider in this space,” Leal said. “I need to integrate with Redtail because that’s what most of my advisors use.”
Leal also addressed the fallout from the data breach that occurred at Redtail earlier this year. Ultimately the decision to work with Redtail and add the feature came down to serving advisors. “We were aware of the press,” he said, but advisors were still using the CRM provider “the next day.”
“We have a lot of respect for Redtail,” he added. “We believe in their business.”
There are several new modules advisors should expect to see this year and next, said Leal. One will address couples considering marriage and another will help high schoolers decide if technical school or college might be the right financial decision.
The niches and variety of topics should continue to expand, Leal said, and in the future, they could directly pass through to a product or service offering, such as insurance. By the end of the year, the company hopes to have around three dozen modules and is aiming to have 70 to 80 in 2020.